2005 Dahon Speed P8 first impressions
Just received my new Speed P8 yesterday. Upon arrrival, I eagerly unpacked the bike, unfolded it, and put on the "other" pedal (delivered in the instruction box). First thing I noticed is the right brake lever was bent. I gently straightened the lever. Second thing I noticed during the maiden voyage down the driveway was the totally bent derailleur hanger. Took a look at the box and it looks like the one side took quite a beating during shipment (thanks UPS!) and was probably the cause of the damage.
I brought the bike back inside and tweaked the hanger 'til it was eyeball straight. Good enough for now, but I'll need to borrow my friend's alignment guage to get it just right. Tested the shifting inside, tweaked the derailleur limit screws and went for a short driveway spin. Worked well enough. Lubed the chain, checked brakes, headset, adjusted seat, bars, etc.
After 20 miles of dirt and paved road riding, here are my ride impressions...
I'm pleasantly surprised by the ride quality. The Schwalbe Big Apple tires really seem to soak up the bumps and the weird seat/seatpost combo provides an easy adjustment and a nice cushioned ride. The rider position is definitely different than my other bikes, but not as strange as I had imagined it would be. The light action of the SRAM shifting surprised me. I have other SRAM setups, but all linked to Shimano derailleurs. I like the like the feel of the SRAM/SRAM combo.
The bike is quite stable at speed and the gear ratios work pretty well for the mixed riding of the Colorado Front Range. The bike feels a bit strange and twitchy during stand up climbing, but I think I'll get used to it.
The Biologic grips are quite comfy. Braking is fine, although I need to adjust the lever reach a bit.
My first ride was with the flat pedals. I rarely use flat pedals and was unimpressed. They were quite slippery, but the folding mech is pretty neat. I swapped to my eggbeaters for the second ride and felt more comfortable.
There is a bit more gear noise than I'm used to. It may be associated with the slightly misaligned hanger, but some of it comes from chain rub on the chainring guard when in the top 2 gears.
Folding and unfolding is a cinch. I have a 29" Samsonite suitcase that I plan to use for the bike, but haven't tried shoehorning it in there yet. It looks like I'll need to remove the wheels and seat/seatpost at a minimum. Putting the bike in the back of my Escort Wagon was no problem. Tons of extra space.
Overall, I'm impressed and hope to put a lot more miles on this bike.